The other day I had a conversation with a co-worker about Twitter, Blogging and Facebook. If you are reading this you, more than likely, are very familiar with social media and use it to some degree in your normal routines. I myself am a social media junkie so most of his argument, I thought, would hold little validity.
The gentleman is from an older generation. He is definatly old school *not my 80’s old school*. I must say there is something to be said about his school of thought and how he handles himself. For example, he gives constant eye to eye contact. His shoes are always shined, clothes never out of place and creases so sharp they can cut bread. No matter how old or young someone is, they are always addressed as ma’am and sir, and work to him isn’t a negative four letter word. Not to say what he does is a lost art, but you have to admit those actions aren’t as common place as they once were.
As we continued the conversation you could see his distaste for social media. I was telling him how Facebook allows me to keep up with old friends without having to call or email to see what they are up to. Check the status and we are good. If I want to comment…fine, if I don’t that’s fine to, but I’m only a click away if I need to share information with them. I thought I got him because he saw the usefulness of being in touch without being in touch.
Then he told me something that got me thinking.
He said, “what I can’t understand is how can you have all these “friends”, some you don’t even know and you “chat” but on the street you can’t even say hello to a passer by.” His point? Social media has killed the need to be…well…social. Plus he believes it has destroyed journalism. As he put it, “now every idiot is published!”
So after the conversation I begin to watch people, young and old. Most had phones and if their were groups, they were more into the conversation on the phone or texting than each other. No one hardly noticed anyone because their heads were down looking at the phone. I noticed countless people stop human interaction to check, update, or respond back to a notification they had just received. Some generations may have called that rude, but today it seems common place.
So was my co-worker right? Have we lost the art of human interaction? Sure we can converse in 140 characters or less but we no longer see or hear each other laughing out loud or smiling for that matter.
I have my opinions but I would love to hear yours. Please leave a comment on what you think social media has, or hasn’t, done to what used to be the art of communication.